January is already starting to get away from us, so without further delay, we're happy to kick off the annual Wing Commander Fan Project & Website of the Year contest. It's all for fun and there's no prize (besides a spiffy award graphic!), but we like to take this chance to recognize just a few of the fans who are out there year-round keeping up the war effort! The nominees are listed here, and you can vote once for each contest right from the page below.
Website of the Year
Daedalus Station - The home base of the Flat Universe mod is a slick destination in its own right. They publish the Destiny's Way in-game magazine and host all the previews for the top down shooter.
Hangars B & C is a set of two virtual galleries to showcase his array of Confed & Kilrathi ships. Fans love to examine his designs, but without the site, most people wouldn't have an easy way to render up their own views to check out every angle.
HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site has long been the place to grab some of the most exotic patches and hacks for the Wing Commander series. The latest enhancement drastically improves the playability of Privateer 2 on modern systems.
Online Ship Viewer - HCl's newest website is another standalone virtual ship viewer. Modern browser technologies allow talented Wingnuts to set up web-based interfaces that would have required expensive specialized software in years past. This one lets fans check out the actual models from Armada, Wing 3 and Wing 4 - and not just fighter models!
Pix's Origin Adventures is the place to go for anything and everything Origin. Wing Commander fans have close ties to many other classic Origin properties, and it's great that other franchises - along with WC - are getting the attention they deserve here.
Beat Hazard Ships - Shaggy spent a good part of 2014 adding the Confed and Kilrathi fighters from WC1 into Beat Hazard. The game is a top-down rhythm-based shooter, and the WC additions add a ton to the atmosphere!
Defiant Few - The year began with a new chapter of Wing Commander: Defiant Few. The award winning audio drama follows a band of Confederation pilots as they struggle to push the Nephilim back from the Gemini Sector. In addition to new episodes of the regular story, they also put out a special April Fools edition.
Flat Universe provided a steady stream of updates throughout the year, which culminated in a highly anticipated playable alpha test. The team has a ways to go before the game is complete, but they are already incorporating pilot feedback to improve the experience the next time out.
Klavs' Model Archive - After first creating the slick virtual 3D gallery mentioned aboved, Klavs posted a huge collection of models for fans to use. He's amassed a very comprehensive look at the fleets of Wing Commander all in one place. Quite a windfall for other emerging projects!
Prophecy Movie - This 2.5 hour presentation consolidates the highlights from both cutscenes and game flight into one package. Fans who are out of practice can now relive the experience from the comfort of their joystick-less desk or living room!
Russian Translation of WC4 is an ambitious effort to patch The Price of Freedom in a new language. Some of the hardest parts, recoding the HUD and captions, are complete, so the work that remains is mostly just lots of actual translation. Along the way, a caption bug has been fixed for everyone.
ScoobyDoo's Ships are creative new takes on classic Wing Commander ships. As dozens and dozens have been created, they've formed their own consistent style with some innovative new spaceframe elements.
Starship Tactics is a WC capship simulator that's heavy on strategy. Although real life war in Europe slowed development in 2014, Arraen is now hard at work and the project is back on track.
Whiplash's Hellcat - Whiplash's project to remake and restore his highly accurate wooden Hellcat model didn't cut any corners. Each step was carefully documented and shared with fans so they could see all the care and effort that goes into an art project of this quality. Fans who followed his construction could appreciate the final design more because they knew exactly what went into every tiny bit.
WCDX for Kilrathi Saga - GOG may have lessened the need to rely on KS for the earliest WC games, but the Kilrathi Saga still has some advantages that make it worth playing. Stinger's patch fixes basic compatibility, multitasking, resolution and more.
2018-01-21 -- ...the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack! Wingnuts from around the world have weighed in, and they've chosen DefianceIndustries' beautiful upgrade to WCSO as the Fan Project of the Year for 2017.
2018-01-20 -- The annual community voting ends tomorrow, so now is the last chance for Wingnuts like you to help choose the Wing Commander Fan Project of the Year for 2017! Here are the nominees one last time. It's hard to choose because there's so many great projects going on, but vote below and help pick the winner!
2018-01-19 -- Unboxing Hands has a massive collection of classic PC and other video games, and they're starting to go through and unbox them all. Wing Commander Amiga was lucky enough to be one of the first titles up. Most Wingnuts are pretty familiar with Claw Marks, the blueprints and so forth, but there are minor and major differences between editions that are really cool for collectors and diehard fans to see.
2018-01-18 -- Deathsnake has a new video showing a Confed vs Kilrathi engagement in his Last Line of Defense project. It was announced last year that the endeavor was transitioning from a playable game to a more cinematic adventure using the mod's assets, and this video shows how that has progressed. It's certainly a pretty awesome battle captured here, and we're eager to see more!
2018-01-17 -- Longtime Wing Commander fan centaurianmudpig has posted something a little different. Lots of talented Wingnuts upload videos of the works in progress, but CMP recently livestreamed the entire creative process. He goes through bit-by-bit looking up tutorials, sampling graphics and writing Unity code.
2018-01-15 -- DefianceIndustries is back from a well deserved holiday break with a slick new wallpaper image. It features a cool new Rapier model first teased last October. This is the variant featured in Super Wing Commander and Arena, so it's a bit more flat and round than DOS or GOG players might be familiar with.
2018-01-14 -- Lilja saw our post a while back about one of the Lightning fighters that became a Wing Commander Movie Rapier at Pinewood Studios and decided to do some digging of his own. Finding where they've all ended up over the years has been an interesting endeavor, and through some clever investigation, he managed to track down some new information on the afterlife of these exotics birds. Immediately after the film's debut in 1999, fans spotted one Rapier at a Planet Hollywood in Ohio, and then a couple showed up for auction/rental/sale in the early 2000s.
2018-01-13 -- Lego Digital Designers Club has posted a neat virtual Darket made with Lego brand activity bricks. The color could probably go a bit more brown, but otherwise it's a pretty good design. All of the crazy Star Wars Legos out there sure make me wish we got these for real!
2018-01-12 -- Our annual community voting is now in progress, and Wingnuts like you are helping choose the Wing Commander Fan Project of the Year for 2017! Here are the nominees one more time. It's hard to choose because there's so many great projects going on, but vote below and help pick the winner!
2018-01-11 -- Mark Hamill's return to the Star Wars series and starring role in The Last Jedi has also sparked a wave of interest in his work between epic film projects. The gaming press has largely already done this thanks to Mr. Hamill's role in Star Citizen, but now it's spreading to a more mainstream audience.
2018-01-10 -- Shot97 has put together an absolutely massive review of Wing Commander for Amiga systems. He covers every inch from top to bottom. Shot goes over what the game meant to him and then proceeds to cover the backstory, the impact of the characters, the depth of the manual, the significance of the Kilrathi, and that's just getting started.
2018-01-09 -- GeekScape has posted a podcast episode with Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien. The actor is well known for his sci-fi acting, but he's also a director with a diverse variety of projects under his belt. He also had a brief cameo in Wing Commander 4, which is mentioned in the show.
2018-01-08 -- A lot of people have done some pretty nifty things with the Privateer 3D model archive over the years, but it can still be a slightly daunting task to dig into if you're an artistic novice. This is where fans come into play, and Wingnuts have continued to help their fellow Wingnuts learn how to navigate these waters. bai recently got some assistance unpacking some of the texture files and finding out how to convert and read them.
2018-01-07 -- pcuser1541 has put together a number of videos that showcase the wide variety of audio setups supported by the original Wing Commander games. SoundBlaster was the most common card of the day, but the Roland MT-32 was highly sought after early on and new variants continued to be released through numerous ports over nearly half a dozen years. There are examples from the Microsoft GS, FM Towns, Amiga, Macintosh, Super Nintendo and Sega CD.
2018-01-06 -- Alien Gray has posted a nifty video of the GPD Win playing the 3DO version of Super Wing Commander. This device actually runs Windows 10, but it's using the Project Phoenix emulator to get the game running. This is just the latest in a fascinating string of modern handheld devices that have managed to get various WC games running.
2018-01-05 -- The Internet Movie Database has posted a photo gallery collage to highlight the history of video games crossing over to movies. There are 96 examples highlighted (a significant fraction of which are Resident Evil films), which is surprising in itself. Even more so, Wing Commander is chronologically listed in the first fifteen movies, so the genre has really exploded in recent years.
2018-01-04 -- Claude Blair has put together an interesting video that reviews a large pile of Wing Commander documentation. After some initial introduction, he spends more than a half hour lovingly detailing the material on every page of Claw Marks. Obviously most of you are quite familiar with what's in the WC1 manual, but it's always fun to hear the perspective of someone who's so excited about it.
2018-01-03 -- George Oldziey is back with a New Year's message and Wing Commander album status update. He's anxiously preparing for the Wing Commander bar music recording happening next month as well as planning out the next steps for the orchestral portions of the album. He's also dug up a vintage interview that was published in the January 1999 edition of Film Score Monthly.
2018-01-02 -- Arne from Android Arts is currently putting together some awesome Wing Commander sketches. He started with an Exeter and has drawn a contemporary flotilla around it. There's also a gun mockup and fighter concept art, plus a really cute 'Dralthi Commander' diskette.